Shocked county officials getting a jump on making things right.

    At the Feb. 5 meeting of the Polk County Board of Commissioners, Polk County Administrator Chuck Whiting and Human Resources Coordinator Linsey Rood requested approval of the 2012 Pay Equity Report that was sent to the state of Minnesota on Jan. 29. Unfortunately, the initial report, which is required every two years, showed that Polk County is out of compliance with an underpayment ratio of 70.44 percent. Per the State of Minnesota, an underpaid ratio must exceed 80 percent.

    After compiling the 2008 report and finding themselves in complete compliance, the 2012 numbers came as quite a shock to county officials. With 63.89 percent of males below predicted pay level and 90.7 percent of females earning less than expected, county officials realize they must take action.

    The state has yet to confirm the non-compliance, but Polk County staff are taking a proactive approach, studying how these numbers came to be. They are also working with Springsted, a public sector advising firm, to rectify the situation as quickly as possible. Although the state allows three years for a county to regain compliance, it is the hope of Polk County administrators to have the issue resolved in a matter of months.

    "We want to reiterate to the public that this is the initial results and the next step is the review from the State to formally determine the compliance of the report," Rood explained in an email to the Times. "The County is working with consultants and eventually with the State to rectify this report."